New Celtic signing Moussa Dembele says the opportunity to build a winning mentality was behind his reason for moving to the Scottish Premiership champions, despite Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur both being interested in his services. Dembele has agreed a four-year deal to become Brendan Rodgers' first signing at Celtic and will officially conclude his move to the Bhoys on 1 July.
The 19-year-old scored 31 goals in 80 appearances for the west London outfit during four years at Craven Cottage, much of which was spent in the club's youth and development sides. Dembele rejected a new contract which would have quadrupled his salary in February, according to Football Insider, to leave Fulham consigned to losing the talented forward who they acquired from Paris Saint Germain.
The Sun understood that new Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho had included Dembele on his transfer wishlist this summer as he looks to stage a mass overhaul at Old Trafford. Dembele had previously been destined to move to Tottenham but Fulham pulled the plug on the deal at the 11th hour, according to The Evening Standard.
Despite overlooking two clubs in United and Tottenham who will be expected to challenge for the Premier League title next term, Dembele says the opportunity to enhance his will to win was the main attraction behind moving to Celtic Park. "At my age I need to start winning games week in, week out," he told the club's official website.
"Celtic have given me this opportunity and it all starts from here. That's why I chose Celtic because I knew if I came here I would have a winning mentality and I would try to win games week in, week out. It's different to Fulham but as a football player you always want to win and Celtic is a team which is a winner."
"It's a massive thing to come to this club and to be Brendan Rodgers' first signing is something unreal for me," the teenager added. "The manager told me that Celtic is a good team for me. When I come here I will have game-time but I have to show that I can stay in the team, and it's a good way for me to progress here with a massive stadium and the fans and the city. Everyone lives for Celtic, and for me it's unbelievable to play for a massive club like this."
United and Tottenham have each made one signing during the summer transfer window. Mourinho made his first addition at the Theatre of Dreams by drafting in Eric Bailly from Villarreal, while Victor Wanyama moved to Champions League-bound Spurs last week from Southampton.